About A. B. Funkhauser:
A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it. Her debut novel, HEUER LOST AND FOUND, released in April 2015 after five years of studious effort, has inspired four other full length works and over a dozen short stories. Her sophomore effort, SCOOTER NATION, is in edits for a 2016 release.
What inspires you to write?
I didn’t start writing until five years ago in response to the death of a friend. As a funeral director, I am familiar with a number of approaches to assist a bereaved person through the grieving process. Once approach is to write a grief journal. In mine, I reminisced about the good times we had, the things I wished we’d done and I even cooked up some imagined conversations between me and his blythe spirit. I shared some of the journal with a writer friend who declared the imagined and re-imagined aspects a ‘beautiful fiction’. With her support and encouragement, I started to write HEUER LOST AND FOUND and I have not looked back.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a panster and a muller, which means that I’ll spend a good year (usually in advance of NaNoWriMo) conjuring up character names and situations before I actually try to get it down in a cohesive form. Pop scenes are recorded and filed until needed. November 1 through 30 each year is my time to write brand new material. My second novel due out in 2016 was begun during NaNoWriMo 2013. My current NaNo is half way to complete (it feels like a 70k + work) and like the other manuscripts it is written non linearly. What this means is that I have a fantastic first 80 pages and an ending that I LOVE. All I have to do now is write the stuff in the middle.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters are composites of people I know or wished I had known. This is crucial for me because I need to ‘hear’ their voices as well as know what they look like to really give them the credit they are due. I listen to them absolutely. In fact, it is common for my tales to get hijacked by a character that looks for the unexpected. The ending I wrote yesterday literally came out of nowhere. That the two secondary characters had a rich, secret history completely altered the first premise I was operating under. Turns out, this is a fantastic, happy accident.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never, ever sit down in front of a blank screen hoping for a burst of inspiration to come. The inspiration must be in you BEFORE you sit down. Approach your work this way, and it will always be a joy.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was very lucky in that I found a publisher who ‘got me’. My work is based on characters that say and do things we ourselves cannot in a civilized society. They operate without filters, do irresponsible and often comical things. My publisher embraced me with support and enthusiasm. I absolutely adore them. New authors need to be open and fearless. Twitter parties are a great way to get started. #pitmad for example really forces you to think about what your book really is about. After a #pitmad session, you will have 24 awesome elevator pitch lines. If you didn’t know what your book was about going in, you’ll know after AND you will be able to rattle your pitch lines off in company without stumbling. It’s a great confidence builder. And of course, get that query letter together and out there. Write a synopsis of each chapter as you complete them. That way, you don’t face this daunting task at the end of the writing cycle. Having a ready made synopsis at your fingertips is critical to crafting that winning query letter.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
These are exciting times we live in! With the digital age, publishing opportunities are available to EVERYONE. Websites, twitter, Facebook–heck–even email and texting gives us the chances we crave to express ourselves bravely and often. When I think about it, I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be alive and making art right now. This truly is the best of times.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Horror, Humor, Satire, Paranormal, Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.